When designing an exercise regime the waist area is often a primary target. We might focus on toning our abs and obtaining an hourglass figure to look great in a skimpy bikini or get rid of the holiday binge eating evidenced by a growing belly bulge. Whatever the reason, there are several exercises virtually anyone can use in an effort whittle down the mid-section. I’ll describe several waist slimming exercises you can use as a complete waist-slimming workout routine, or you can incorporate as many as you like into a whole-body exercise program.
The Warm Up
All exercise should begin with the warm-up phase. These first three allow you to stretch all abdominal muscles and get ready for the real workout.
- Squats – From a standing position, feet even with your hips and your back straight, bend at the knee and lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Return to a standing position and repeat for 10 to 20 reps. Placing your hand on your hips will help with balance.
- Lunge with Arm Weight – From a standing position and a single 5-lb weight in your right hand, lunge forward with your left leg until your ankle is parallel with your knee. In a single movement raise the weight above your head while you are moving back into an upright position and slowly lower the weight back to your side. Use your abs and arm muscles, not gravity, to lower the weight. Alternate legs/5-lb weight for 10 to 20 reps.
- Inchworm Crawl – From a full-body push-up stance, place your feet flat on the floor and “inch” your way backward with your hands. When your hands have inched as close as possible to your feet, begin to “inch” your way back out and repeat for 10 to 20 reps.
The following stability exercise can be performed without the use of additional equipment. Start with 15 to 20 reps.
- Crunches – This is basically a half sit-up. Lie on your back with bended knees and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides and use your abs to lift the upper body forward. Tighten your abs and exhale, holding the position for a second or two, and slowly lower your upper body back to the floor. Avoid using your back and hip muscles as you lower your body. Also, don’t make the common mistake of anchoring your feet under a sofa or having someone hold them to the ground as this will lessen the targeted abdominal workout.
Dynamic Core Exercises
These are the most challenging of waist slimming exercises; do 8 to 10 reps of each.
- Torso Twist – With your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart, place a long bar or tube lengthways across your shoulders and behind your neck. Stretch out your arms and use an overhand grip on the bar with your hands. Twist your body to the right, neck straight, and tighten your abs. Hold the position for two seconds, exhale and slowly return to the starting position. Finish all reps for one side before alternating.
- Around the World – With your arms stretched outward, shoulder level, hold an exercise ball or weight between your hands. Start drawing a large circle in the air with the ball or weight. Bring your circle as far down as you can by bending your knees while keeping your back straight. Remember to tighten the abdominal muscles and exhale at the bottom of the circle, hold the position for a second or two and slowly return to the beginning position.
- Woodchopper – With arms above your head holding a ball or weight slowly drop your arms forward in a “chopping” motion. Your downward swing will continue as you bend at the knees, keep a straight back and finish when the ball or weight touches between your feet. Slowly return to a standing position. You can do this with a forward or diagonal chopping motion.
These last two waist slimming exercises challenge your balance; do 5 to 10 reps of each.
- Crawl Crunch – On hands and knees, balance your body on your left knee and hand. With your right leg and hand off the floor, crunch your elbow to your knee together. Complete all reps for one side before alternating.
- Single Arm Twist – Start from a sit-up position. Depending on your level of fitness, both the full-body sit-up or with knees on the floor will work for this exercise. Lift your left arm off the floor and swing outward until your torso is turned toward the ceiling, tighten your abs, hold for two seconds and exhale. Slowly lower your arm back to the floor controlling your movements with your abdominal muscles and repeat with the right side.
Use the above exercises as a targeted exercise plan or combine them with others such as thigh slimming exercises and arm slimming exercises. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to slipping into that bikini again!